This past week I had the ubiquitous task of cleaning out my childhood home in preparation of renting it out and eventually selling. So I ventured back to the Gulf of Mexico not knowing what was in store for me. This daunting chore is something I've dreaded for the last 10 yrs. Imagine coming to the realization that your own sweet lovable mother is a hoarder.
I mean hoarder in the most extreme sense! I'm talking about stockpiling the most mundane items like towels, tissues, wrapping paper, science projects, birthday cards, etc. To my shock I found a dilapidated home covered in filth and spewing junk from every corner. There was old term papers, drawings from 2nd grade, mason jars, you name it. I suppose I didn't realize how physically AND emotionally demanding this job would be. I came to realize my mother was always like this, in one form or another. She always saved everything. However, the obsessive collecting has just gotten worse over the years.
Not only was mother's home in ruin, but so was the neighborhood. What was once a thriving neighborhood was now a shell of the community it used to be. I've often had dreams of my hometown and the visions in my head are a far cry of what it is now. I'm not embarrassed that I came from a small town or a questionable neighborhood, nor do I deny it. I came to Austin like many other bright eyed teens searching for a creative outlet. I also vowed never to return home. Over time I have come to appreciate my hometown. I made some wonderful friends and I have a lot more respect for art & music. These were things people in big cities take for granted because they are regularly bombarded with them. I had to seek out different kinds of music, film, and art.
The harshest lesson of this week was realizing that I'm officially an adult because I no longer have a place to go home to. It's now up to me to create a home for myself. Fortunately, I have some really supportive people around to help me. As scary as it seems, I look forward to building a home. I'll also feel a sense of pride every time I watch THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN.